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ABC Affiliates Told Not to Air Nightline...

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#1 Chipper

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:14 PM

This is just beyond belief...

Quote

ABC Affiliates Told Not to Air 'Nightline'
(Thursday, April 29 10:55 AM)


LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - The owner of eight ABC affiliates has told the stations not to air a "Nightline" broadcast that will be devoted entirely to reading the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
A statement from the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 62 stations in 39 markets across the country, says the roll call of fallen soldiers, scheduled for Friday (April 30), "appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq."

ABC stations in St. Louis; Columbus, Ohio; Asheville, N.C.; Charleston, W.Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; Pensacola, Fla.; Springfield, Mass.; and Tallahassee, Fla., will pull the broadcast.


"While the Sinclair Broadcast Group honors the memory of the brave members of the military who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, we do not believe such political statements should be disguised as news content," the company's statement says. It also asks why "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel won't instead be reading the names of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
ABC News responds that "Nightline" and its other news programs have reported "hundreds of stories" on the 9/11 attacks, and that the network aired the names of the victims on the first anniversary of the attacks.

"The 'Nightline' broadcast is an expression of respect which simply seeks to honor those who have laid down their lives for this country," ABC says.

Sinclair also recently began sending "good news" stories about Iraq to its local stations -- an effort, it says, to counter the stream of downbeat coverage about the U.S.-led occupation.


Are you f************* kidding me?
"Courtesy is how we got civilized. The blind assertion of rights is what threatens to decivilize us. Everybody's got lots of rights that are set out legally. Responsibilities are not enumerated, for good reason, but they are set into the social fabric. Is it such a sacrifice to not be an a**hole?"

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#2 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:33 PM

Well, if there's "downbeat coverage" going on, it's because the whole thing has taken a downbeat turn. :(

Sinclair needs to get a grip.
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#3 the 'Hawk

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:47 PM

Chipper, on Apr 29 2004, 03:12 PM, said:

"While the Sinclair Broadcast Group honors the memory of the brave members of the military who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, we do not believe such political statements should be disguised as news content," the company's statement says.
Since when is remembering those who died fighting to serve their country a political act?

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#4 Cardie

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:31 PM

So every town that ever put up a memorial listing the names of those residents fallen in a given conflict is pursuing a political, anti-war agenda?  Perhaps Sinclair ought to send pickets to prevent people from visiting the Vietnam Memorial on the mall in Washington.  Just those names on a stone--it's one of the most moving tributes I've ever seen.

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#5 Redshirt #24

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:42 PM

I think I'm entirely too jaded here.  Part of me blatantly disagrees with the "anti-war propaganda" sentiments expressed by SBG (and backed up by no less a fruit loop than L. Brent Bozell), but the rest of me is wondering just what the ulterior motive behind doing this really is.  Maybe simply publicity, being May sweeps and all, but I'm having a very hard time believing that this is just a tribute.

<sigh> For some reason, I'm reminded of a line from Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor: "Why should I trust you?  You're reporters." :unsure:

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#6 RommieSG

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 03:53 PM

This is beyond belief. Something honoring the fallen soldiers is a political........ugh, I can't even think straight on this one. :crazy:

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#7 Rov Judicata

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 04:04 PM

It *IS* an awfully convenient coincidence that this headline-grabbing 'tribute' happens to occur on the second day of May sweeps, and that ABC claims to be unaware of that fact.

Source: http://www.washingto...-2004Apr27.html

Based on the timing, I'm skeptical of Nightline's motives, and I find it hard to believe that they don't know when Sweeps is, and it's odd that they're only including those who died in Iraq. That being said, I oppose the decision to tell affiliates not to air it. I also think this is a bad way to honour the troops; surely the stories of a few would be more effective.

If you want a truly moving tribute to the troops read this (Tissue warning):

http://www.blackfive...hance.html#more

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 29 April 2004 - 04:06 PM.

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#8 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:34 PM

Unfortunately, I didn't save the email, but I get a regular daily bulletin about Nightline's topics.

When they mentioned doing the list a couple of days ago, the producer said that they had considered doing it on Memorial Day weekend, but feared it would get lost  in the weekend parades, festivities, and let's face it, retail onslaught. There will be no commentary, only the reading of the names of the casualties.

I think the stations' owner is off his bean, and pushing his own agenda. Talk about politicizing the news. Exhibit freakin' A and it's from a conservative angle. The headlines being grabbed are because this guy's decided not to air it. A tad counterproductive, I think.

Part of the reason the casualty list IS news is because there is so little press coverage. No pics allowed, and very little actual information besides 10 soldiers killed here, three wounded there.

These are not numbers. They are to be grieved and honored, whether you think we should be in Iraq or not. And, they are part of the war news. Casualty lists are basic information.

Ro

#9 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 05:46 PM

FYI, from today's bulletin regarding tomorrow's broadcast.

Quote

I know that this is a little short, which I'm sure many of you will appreciate. But I am swamped dealing with tomorrow night's broadcast. This has become far more controversial than I ever expected. But there is one important point. Because of time constraints, we had decided that we could only read the names of those killed in combat. This would have left out more than 200 other service members who were killed. None of us were happy with that. I received a phone call from the father of a soldier who was decorated for bravery, but was killed in a truck accident on his way back from the front. His father asked how could we possibly not include his son and the others? The answer is that we couldn't. We have been given extra time by ABC so that we can include all of those killed in Iraq. This means that Nightline will run 40 minutes tomorrow night. Whether it's for the entire broadcast, or just for twenty seconds, I hope that you will join us tomorrow night, and reflect in your own ways on the sacrifices made by these men and women.


#10 Rhea

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:06 PM

Ro, you said it all very eloquently, so I'll just say: what Ro said.  :cool:
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#11 Mr.Calgary

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:38 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Apr 29 2004, 02:02 PM, said:

Based on the timing, I'm skeptical of Nightline's motives, and I find it hard to believe that they don't know when Sweeps is, and it's odd that they're only including those who died in Iraq. That being said, I oppose the decision to tell affiliates not to air it. I also think this is a bad way to honour the troops; surely the stories of a few would be more effective.
I must be part of the "jaded" brigade.

Is Nightline just reading names as opposed to also giving us 10 or 15 seconds worth of information on each person?

If this is a tribute, is it being done in primetime or the normal timeslot?

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#12 Cardie

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 06:55 PM

NBC Nightly News does features on some of those killed and wounded on a regular basis.  Of course they can only do a few, and they pick soldiers who provide a good story "hook," e.g. beautiful young woman pilot, father who will never see new baby, immigrant who came to the US for a better life, etc.  I sit and weep for each one and hope to heaven all this death is going to bring better things to the region in the end.

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#13 Chipper

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:34 PM

Nightline has actually done this many times, only the segment has never taken up a whole episode.  They did it after 9/11 as well.
"Courtesy is how we got civilized. The blind assertion of rights is what threatens to decivilize us. Everybody's got lots of rights that are set out legally. Responsibilities are not enumerated, for good reason, but they are set into the social fabric. Is it such a sacrifice to not be an a**hole?"

- Jenny Smith on Usenet, via Jid, via Kathy

#14 Delvo

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:37 PM

This kind of thing might have been passable as an actual tribute years ago, but context is everything, and the Always Bash Conservatives network has too much history of servitude to liberal Democrats to pull it off anymore. Now there's so little reason left to even suspect it MIGHT not be motivated by the obvious, their usual motivation, that they'll never escape making the impression that it is, even if it isn't this time.

#15 G-man

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 09:00 PM

^^^ Well considering how often Alway's Bash Conservatives network toed this administration's party line, it's kind of nice to see them taking a closer look at what his actions have cost us.

BTW, Mods? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to put this thread in the OT?  

/s/

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#16 Chipper

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 09:12 PM

^  I wasn't sure where it would go, but I think it retrospect OT sounds better.
"Courtesy is how we got civilized. The blind assertion of rights is what threatens to decivilize us. Everybody's got lots of rights that are set out legally. Responsibilities are not enumerated, for good reason, but they are set into the social fabric. Is it such a sacrifice to not be an a**hole?"

- Jenny Smith on Usenet, via Jid, via Kathy

#17 cylkoth

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 10:53 PM

It should be noted that Sinclair serves up it's own Fox News-ish nightly broadcast to it's stations. It's no different than FNC, and the idea that they'd label ABC as politizing news coverage is simply ludicrous.
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#18 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 11:04 AM

From Nightline's bulletin about tonight's broadcast.


Quote

There is so much that I want to say about tonight's broadcast, about how it was conceived, what our thinking was, why we are doing it. It seems that Ted and I have been doing nothing but talking to reporters and radio and television stations for days now. But in the end, I don't think it matters what we think. I think what's important is what all of you think. As I have said many times, whether you are for the war or against it, these men and women, whose pictures you will see tonight, have paid the ultimate price in our names. We think it is only fitting that for one night, we present their names. All I would hope is that all of you who watch, like all of us who are working on it, will take a moment at least to think about that sacrifice.

Leroy Seivers and the Nightline Staff
Nightline Offices
ABCNEWS Washington D.C.


#19 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 11:10 AM

Delvo, on Apr 29 2004, 07:35 PM, said:

This kind of thing might have been passable as an actual tribute years ago, but context is everything, and the Always Bash Conservatives network has too much history of servitude to liberal Democrats to pull it off anymore. Now there's so little reason left to even suspect it MIGHT not be motivated by the obvious, their usual motivation, that they'll never escape making the impression that it is, even if it isn't this time.
This comment is so predictable, that at first I just bit my tongue and passed on.

But, really, if you've nothing substantive to add to the discussion, at least refrain from pro forma media bashing.



Ro

#20 Shalamar

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 11:11 AM

I am very disappointed in those stations that will not be airing Nightline tonight.  I think the reading of the names is a good thing, and just how in the heck can a roll call of the dead be political. (Yes I know it will be percieved as such, in todays climate, but sheesh, can't some one do something without every one yelling 'political' )

They are honoring those who gave their lives, nothing more nothing less.
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